In keeping with my attempt to stay healthy (and warm!) in January, I decided to whip up some soup last night. I have seen versions of kale and white bean soup on various blogs and cookbooks, and I found a particular recipe from Bon Appetite that looked promising. With some slight variations, it turned out to be a delicious and hearty stew – and even better as lunch the next day!
Kale & White Bean Stew (serves 4)
- 2 TB olive oil
- two carrots, shredded
- three shallots, diced
- 3 large celery sticks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 slices of Italian prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth (or more)
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 TB dry Sherry
- 4 cups of kale, coarsely chopped (I usedtwo different kinds: Tuscan and Premier)
- 1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Add the carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the prosciutto and continue to sauté for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are soft.
Add the white wine to the pot and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the white beans, 4 cups of chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme sprigs and raise heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the pot. Stir in the Sherry, kale, chives, parsley and Herbes de Provence and continue to cook for five minutes over medium heat. Add more broth by the half-cup-fulls if you would like a more soupy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, but the soup will already be somewhat salty because of the prosciutto so be careful!
To make a vegetarian version, omit the prosciutto and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You may also used other herbs in addition to the chives and parsley, such as tarragon or rosemary – but with the Herbes de Provence, those flavors are covered. If you do not have Herbes de Provence, use dried savory herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, etc.
Not only did this soup turn out to be delicious, but it was very filling and full of vegetables and protein in every bite. After having two small bowls of soup, there was not a lot of liquid left. So I decided to add a little vegetable broth and heat for a few minutes before transferring to tupperware for lunch the next day. The flavors melded together overnight and the stew tasted even better the next day! I loved the addition of the prosciutto because it added salt and texture – and meat! I would also consider adding ground turkey or chicken sausage, but prosciutto is what I had on hand.
I skipped the wine last night (other than the cup I put in the stew), but this would go well with a South African Sauvignon Blanc, such as Simonsig, Mulderbosch, Ken Forrester or Porcupine Ridge. South African Sauvignon Blancs are medium-bodied and have a nice acidity, which pairs well with the savory soup. If you’re looking to pair with a red wine, I would recommend something light and earthy like Chianti.
I have since made this stew a few times, but have used two Italian chicken sausage, one mild and one hot (casings removed). I prefer this to the prosciutto, and it’s also healthier. You can cook the sausage at the same time that you would cook the prosciutto.